Romanians become the second most common non-UK nationality
Recently published official figures now put Romanian as the second-most-common non-British nationality in the UK. The Office for National Statistics reported this month that people from the Eastern European nation now account for more nationals in this country than Ireland or India.
The number of Romanians living in the UK in 2017 jumped 25% on the previous year as the numbers coming into the UK show no sign of abating. Restrictions on the rights of Romanians to work in this country were lifted in 2014 and there’s now over 400,000 living in Britain.
As Brexit negotiations continue, and politicians argue daily how best to control the flow of people once Britain leaves the EU, what does the future hold for his cohort of millennial migrants?
The UK government has already reached an agreement with the EU that people who, by December 31st, 2020, have been continuously and lawfully living in the UK will be able to apply for settled status.
Indeed, Romania has suffered a quiet ‘brain drain’ in recent years with a steady flow of young and skilled workers departing the country. The Eastern European state has lost nearly a sixth of its population and a survey carried out last year found that 40 per cent of those who remain would also like to leave.
Those who now earn a living in the UK anecdotally report that there has been little encouragement from their home nation to repatriate those who have left. In turn, they have little interest in returning and come 2020, a generation will become settled British residents.
Many predicted that the post-Brexit landscape would mean Britain becoming a less welcoming place for immigrants and that this would influence UK immigration policy, but recent studies, such as the one this week from The Times/YouGov, suggest opinion on immigration is actually softening.
Some observers put that down to a suspicion that the Brexit result has encouraged people to appreciate the foreign nationals who have made Britain their home a little more than before. That could be good news for the present and future Romanian peoples who will come to this country and attempt to integrate within it, and that shift in public opinion could soften future UK government policy on immigration.